Like the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which went missing early in March while on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, a Singapore-bound AirAsia flight from Indonesia lost contact with the air traffic control on Sunday.
The AirAsia flight QZ8501 was carrying 162 people -- 155 passengers and seven crew members -- when it went missing 42 minutes after taking off from Indonesia at 5:35 a.m local time.
There were 149 people from Indonesia, 1 from Singapore, 1 from Britain, 1 from Malaysia and 3 from South Korea on the flight.
Hadi Mustofa, an official of the transportation ministry, told Indonesia's MetroTV that the aircraft lost contact with Indonesia's Surabaya airport around 6:17 a.m. (local time).
The plane is believed to have been over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Java islands when it went missing.
This incident brings back stressful memories of the unfortunate Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing 8 March, 2014. The flight has not so far been found even after search operations worth millions of dollars were taken up.
The flight – a Boeing 777 - mysteriously lost contact with air traffic control less than an hour after takeoff, just like this AirAsia flight.
AirAsia Indonesia confirmed the news via Facebook. It posted: At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available," the statement read.
It further noted that the aircraft is an Airbus A320 with the registration number PK-AXC.
"At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service," the statement further read.
An official in Indonesia's Transport Minister told Sky News that the aircraft had requested an unusual route before it lost all communication with the Jakarta air traffic control (ATC) tower.
AirAsia announced that search and rescue operations were underway for the flight.
AirAsia said: "No further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board. At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service," Time reports.
The firm further mentioned a number where friends and family of those onboard the flight can call. "AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Centre that is available for family or friends of those who may have been on board the aircraft. The number is: +622129850801," the Guardian reports.